After Bloody Battle Royale’s Doherty, Decastro and Peers Crowned Champions

 
Ringside Report: Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs Courtesy of Mirek Marcinski
 
On Friday, whilst most boxing fans were preparing for the World Super Series final between George Groves and Callum Smith to be beamed over from Saudi Arabia, I made the trek up from my London home to Derby for the weigh-in at the Stein Strasse Bar in the City for an event at Pride Park the following day.
 
Have to say I’ve been to quite a few weigh-ins, but can’t recall any here in the UK that could be termed an event in themselves. The only one even remotely similar I can recall attending was at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York back in 2007.
 
With so much effort put into the presentation of the weigh-in, I have to admit I was feeling right up for the event itself the next day, as I made my way to Pride Park, and as it turns out quite rightly so.
 
The headlining fight, that featured Derby’s very own Ross Doherty and Latvia’s Gvido Seilis, was for both the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Super Welterweight Championships.
 
As the opening bell both combatants strode to centre ring and entered into the battle more akin to mortal combat of Roman Gladiators than modern day Pugilists, such was the sheer eruption of violent combat that ensued.
 
As like Warriors from the past Doherty and Seilis positioned themselves face to face across the battleground, neither willing to concede a single inch in the battle for superiority of the first stanza. Wow, fantastic all action first round.
 
Doherty’s power and precision earned him the first couple of rounds in my eyes, but in the third it was Seilis that caught the eye, he stepped up the pace and began to dominate much of the round, backing up the Derby man with big solid straight rights.
 
Initially early in the fourth it was again Seilis in the ascendency, however around the minute mark Doherty got behind his jab to open up opportunities for him to let rip with some big rights of his own and soon wrestled back control of the round, as well as the next two or three.
 
Seilis came out hard and fast in the seventh and went to work on the body and head of Doherty, forcing the Derby man to be a little more defensive than he had in the previous rounds.
 
The next couple of rounds were really close, one or two way too close to call in my view, as both protagonists went toe-to-toe from start to finish of each round.
 

 
The tenth and final round was sensational it was an incredible Battle Royale, have to admit didn’t expect the round to reach it’s natural conclusion as both Warriors dug deep into their arsenal, as well as both threw caution to the wind and began hurling and landing power shot after power shot. What a sensational round.
 
After ten magnificent rounds of boxing it was to the scorecards. Judge Adrian Thorne 98-95 – Judge Mark Wakefield 99-94 and Judge James Ancliff 99-92, all in favour of Ross Doherty, the new WBL & EBL European Super Welterweight Champion.
 
The penultimate contest of the night see Wolverhampton’s Emily Pugh (1-0-0) making her second professional outing, against Latvian débutée Veronika Sirajeva.
 
Right from the off Sirajeva shot across the ring and began firing massive power shots that not only forced Pugh to cover up but also initially silence the Wolverhampton girl’s highly vocal fans.
 
After the initial shock of seeing their adored heroine taking such an onslaught from the newcomer, they soon became highly vocal again calling for Pugh to counter with equal force (sounds far better than ‘smash her head in’, which was the gist of the shouts), Pugh responded forcefully to gain a semblance of control.
 

 
What ensued then was a full on war, with neither conceding an inch of ground to the other.
 
Phew what a round, seriously couldn’t split them – points wise, neither could Referee Rob Jones who scored it a draw.
 
Again in the second Sirajeva started hard and fast, however this time after an initial covering-up, Pugh responded with equal venom before getting behind her supremely strong jab to keep the hard charging Latvian at bay, well to a degree.
 
Similar in the third, however in the fourth it was Pugh that forcefully secured centre ring early on. Utilising her excellent jab Pugh began to control the proceedings.
 
As the round progressed Pugh forced her way through the Latvian’s guard, landing solid shots on Sirajeva’s chin and nose.
 
Prior to the start of the fifth Sirajeva’s coach summoned Referee Rob Jones and informed him that the talented young Latvian was unable to continue due to injury.
 
To describe the roar of joy from Pugh’s fans that echoed around the rammed to the hilt Pedigree Suite at Pride Park when Rob Jones waived off the contest, as loudly ecstatic would be like describing the Derby County fans reaction to the Rams’ victory over Manchester United just a few days earlier as just plain chuffed, seriously it was intense.
 
For the record after four rounds Referee Rob Jones’ scorecard read 40-37 in favour of Emily Pugh.
 
Prior to the Pugh-Sirajeva contest, was the second Championship contest of the evening, an all Merseyside Derby between Paul Peers and unbeaten Craig Kennerdale.
 
As if the fact it was an all Merseyside Derby wasn’t enough to add that extra element of spice to the contest, Peers is an avid Everton fan, whilst Kennerdale a fanatical supporter of Jürgen Klopp’s high flying Liverpool and more importantly there was a title on the line, the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight Championship.
 
Right from the opening bell it was a full on war, both lads going toe-to-toe letting rip with power punch after power punch.
 

 
By round three it was clear that it would be impossible to tip a winner, first round you couldn’t split them, neither could the judges, the second going to Kennerdale and the red side of the City and the third to Peers and the blues.
 
The fourth was a bloody affair, with both Kennerdale and Peers bleeding from the nose, have to say what a round though, it was pugilistic heaven to watch as both protagonists went full on for the full three minutes.
 
The fifth was very much in the same vein, as was the sixth, and once again control was switching back and forth.
 
Kennerdale gained the upper hand, just, in the sixth after stepping up the already scintillating pace. Not to be outdone Peers stepped it up further and took control of the seventh.
 
To describe the eighth and final round as sensational would have to be deemed the understatement of the year, it wasn’t a war it was Pugilistic Armageddon, so much so there wasn’t a single person seated, the entire audience on their feet screaming their support for one or t’other, even the neutrals in the house bellowed, so enthralling was the round.
 
The frenetic tension, of the combatants and their teams as they awaited the scorecards to be read, was palpable to all in attendance.
 
The stress only easing after the cards were read – Judge Adrian Thorne 78-78 (Drawn), Judge Mark Wakefield 78-76 in favour of Peers and Judge James Ancliff 78-77, also in favour of Peers, who claims the PBC Silver English Welterweight Championship accolade.
 

 
Have to say this was an awesome fight, one that very much deserves the Fight of the Night honours, and I’m sure many will agree with me also a future rematch.
 
Second fight of the night pitted Bardney, Lincolnshire’s unbeaten Nathan Decastro (13-0-0) against Accra, Ghana’s Agoe Ashong (11-1-0) for the vacant Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Super Middleweight Commonwealth Championship.
 
Both protagonists went for it hard and fast right from the opening bell, however it was Decastro that wrestled initial control, forcing the Ghanaian back onto the ropes with a series of powerful hooks to the body.
 
Each time Ashong attempted to slip or spin away, Decastro bought him straight back in-line with a big hook to the body before proceeding to punish the Ghanaian’s body and head with big powerful lefts and rights, which set the standard not just for the rest of the first stanza but also the next couple of rounds.
 

 
Whilst the first few rounds could have been fought in a phone box and Decastro very much had the upper hand, it soon become a totally different affair, as fate dealt Decastro a mighty blow.
 
During one of the many full on exchanges in round four Decastro sustained a leg injury, later confirmed as a pulled hamstring.
 
Ashong sensed the opportunity to turn the fight in his favour and went hard on the attack, throwing a huge right, Decastro countered, The Ghanaian let rip with a double-handed flurry before dancing away.
 
Decastro tried to close Ashong down and let rip with a big right, but the highly mobile Ghanaian slipped under the lightning fast Exocet and danced around the mobility challenged Englishman before letting rip with big right of his own.
 
From this moment on Ashong switched his tactics, dancing around the ring, virtually goading the limping Englishman into wild swinging attacks, initially Decastro obliged and in doing so presented Ashong the opportunity to get the upper hand and land some powerful shots.
 
However, savvy words from his corner in the break see Decastro change his tactics and instead of trying to chase the fast moving Ghanaian around the ring, slowly but surely cut-off the ring until in a position to back Ashong onto the ropes or into the corner before making a sustained attack.
 
Whilst this tactic didn’t work every time, it did enable the stricken Englishman to gain the upper hand and secure or draw many of the remaining rounds, even those where the Ghanaian had utilised questionable tactics, mainly due to alert officiating from Referee Rob Jones, who was left with no option but to deduct a point in both the fifth and eighth rounds
 
Right from the opening bell of the twelfth and final round Ashong stepped up his attacks, going full out to try and secure a knockout, secure in the knowledge that this would be the only way he could achieve victory.
 
The fact that Decastro was virtually static by this point must have made the Ghanaian confident that this tactic would be successful, however Ashong hadn’t taken into account the Englishman’s determination or his world class ring-craft.
 
Decastro, even with the debilitating injury, weaved and slipped each attack before countering with good success, more importantly he didn’t let Ashong drag him into a slugging match for the final minutes, which was surely enough to secure a hard fought victory.
 
Decastro and his team nervously awaited the scores to be read out, whilst Ashong and his team confidently had their hands raised, but the confidence in the faces soon drained as the scores were read out – Judge Adrian Thorne, 119-108, Judge Mark Wakefield 120-108 and Judge James Ancliff 119-109 all in favour of Decastro.
 

 
Opening fight for the Professional element of the event see Jack Jones from Leeds making his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly in a four round Super Welterweight contest.
 
Jones started the contest confidently, taking the fight to Kelly and displaying some nice slick moves, much to the delight of his many fans that had travelled down the M1 from Yorkshire.
 
As the round progressed Kelly began to slowdown the ever-forward movement of the Leed’s youngster by displaying the exceptional skills that earned him a shot at the WBF international title a few years back.
 

 
Jones responded well to the test, initially countering before taking back control of centre ring with a forceful control that put the Irishman back onto the back foot.
 
Jones virtually controlled the next couple of rounds, except for short episodes where Kelly would wrestle control and test his young opponent’s metal.
 
The fourth and final round was a cracker, Jones had settled into a flow and looked to be well and truly in control of the proceedings, interrupted only by flashes of pure brilliance from Kelly, unfortunately not enough for the Irishman to prevent Jones from charging on to a clear 40-36 points victory.
 
This was my fourth visit to Derby to attend Dan Gray’s events, each has been superior to the previous, not just because of excellent genuine fifty-fifty contests that he features, or the fantastic venue, but also his dedication to making his shows a fantastic night out for the fans with additional entertainment.
 
On Saturday night the venue had a Casino theme that included Roulette and Games tables, a Magician and an awesome singer, OK I admit I was only there for the Boxing, but also have to admit I really enjoyed the entertainment too, can’t wait for his next show.

Please follow and like us:

Rising Star Pugh Back In Action This Saturday, Faces Sirajeva at Pride Park, Derby.


 
Back in April this year Emily Pugh made her professional debut, and boy oh boy did she do it in style. Emily and her opponent Jelizaveta Cerkasova, who was also making her pro debut, put on a master-class.
 
The contest was a true master-class, but not in the normal sense of the word as used within boxing circles, whereby one boxer ‘gave a master-class to their opponent’, oh no it was a true closely fought master-class of boxing full stop, one of the most enthralling boxing matches in a long, long time, one that is only matched by the even more recent ‘Fight of the Year’ nominated World Boxing Council (WBC) Atomweight World Championship contest between Emily’s fellow British & Irish Boxing Authority licensed boxer, the former WBC Muay Thai World Champion Denise Castle and WBC World Youth & International Champion Fabiana Bytyqi.
 
This coming Saturday, at Pride Park, in Derby, Pugh is set to step into the ring for her second pro bout, this time the Wolverhampton Girl is set to face Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva on the undercard of the WBL & EBL European Championship contest between Ross Doherty and Gvido Seilis and co headliner Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong PBC Commonwealth title showdown.
 
Speaking from her home earlier, Pugh said;
 
“I am very excited to get back into the ring, and more than ready.
 
“I am looking forward to boxing six rounds. I intend to win them every one of these rounds with a strong performance, in style.
 
“My professional debut seems so long ago, and I know that I can top that performance and put on a strong fight.
 
“I hope my opponent has worked as hard as me and is ready to give it everything she’s got.
 
“Thank you to everyone that has supported me, by travelling to come and watch, to Aspire Fitness who have helped prep me for this fight and my sponsor E-liquid Paradise, who this would not be happening without… thank you! I will not let any of you down.”
 
Emily Pugh versus Veronika Sirajeva is a support bout for the Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis for the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Welterweight Championships, that co-headlines with the Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
Also featured on the event is another mouth-watering all Merseyside title clash, between Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

Please follow and like us:

Kennerdale: It’s Going to be a War on Saturday Night!


 
Over the past year or so there’s been a lot of speculation, or should that be desire, about the possibility of an all Merseyside showdown between local heroes Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers.
 
Until very recently it had been just pure wishful thinking, it had been proposed on numerous occasions and failed to be made, however come Saturday night this much anticipated showdown finally becomes a reality, as promoter Dan Gray decided enough of the talking, if the fans want the fight, they should have their wishes come true and added it to the card for his upcoming event at the home of Derby County FC, Pride Park in Derby.
 
When Dan Gray first proposed the fight to Paul Peers, Peers had told him “Good luck mate, others had tried to make the match-up in the past and failed.” Not to be deterred Gray not only convinced Kennerdale’s manager Kyle Gallagher that the time was right, but also the unbeaten prospect himself.
 
Speaking from his Liverpool home Craig Kennerdale explained why he decided to take the fight now.
 
“I always knew that Paul and I would face each other one day, but always expected it to be much later on in our careers, but when Dan (Gray) dangled the carrot of making it for a title, my first title shot, I just couldn’t refuse.
 
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for so long, I’ve been around the sport since I was ten years of age and in that time every single training session, every spar and every fight I’ve ever had has been leading to this fight, I can’t wait for Saturday night, it’s my dream to win a title.
 
“I can’t help but think that this fight has all the hallmarks of being a seriously good all action fight the fans will love to watch.
 
“I believe styles make fights, the difference in our styles, as well as the way we approach fights make this a very interesting match-up. It’s going to be a war on Saturday night.
 
“Like most boxers on the Liverpool circuit, I know Paul’s ability and believe me I’m not taking anything lightly, he’s a good technical boxer with a strong amateur pedigree.
 
“I’m unbeaten in the pros and believe me I don’t intend on losing my ‘0’ anytime soon.
 
“Although I have respect for Paul, I’m here to win. I’m in the best shape of my life, I’m hitting harder and faster than ever before and because of that I have every confidence that it will be me that lifts the belt come fight night.
 
“Respect to Paul Peers and may the best man win!”
 
Craig Kennerdale versus Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title supports co-headliners Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis World Boxing League and European Boxing League European Welterweight Championships contest and Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

Please follow and like us:

Doherty in Confident Mood Ahead of European Title Shot, Against Seilis This Coming Saturday


 
Derby’s unbeaten Welterweight prospect Ross Doherty appears in confident mood ahead of his first Championship contest, against Latvian Gvido Seilis this coming Saturday, the 29th September, on the Dan Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby.
 
Doherty has been mighty impressive, since bursting on to the professional scene, with a solid points victory over Belfast’s Marty Kayes back in September 2016, which he followed up with a series of solid points victories over the past two years, culminating in a sensational performance, and yet another shutout points victory, against another tough Latvian, Grigorijs Dunecs, in an eight rounder back in April this year.
 
It was this particular performance against Dunecs that led promoter Dan Gray to decide it was time for his charge Doherty to step up and challenge for Championship honours, as such on Saturday night, Doherty and his opponent Seilis are set to go toe-to-toe for both the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Welterweight Championships.
 
Speaking earlier, Doherty said,
 
“I’m really looking forward to this fight,
 
“My training camp has gone very well, Dan Gray pushed me to my limits in training as well as arranged some seriously top class sparring for me.
 
“My opponent has changed, I don’t know too much about Gvido Seilis, other than he seems a very tough lad. Would normally have video footage of the opponents fights in plenty of time, which helps in us to adapt to the opponent’s style, however not the case this time, but we’re not worried, the camp was that good.
 
“We know we are up against it, but I’m feeling confident I’ve got what it takes to do what is needed to bring those title belts home.”
 
Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis for the World Boxing League (WBL) and European Boxing League (EBL) European Welterweight Championships, co-headlines with the Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
Also featured on the event is another mouth-watering all Merseyside title clash, between Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

Please follow and like us:

Peers Prepares to Face Kennerdale In All Merseyside English Title Clash


 
There’s nothing quite like a local Derby, whether Football or any sport but especially Boxing, to get the fans salivating and when it’s an all Merseyside clash it is without doubt the most mouth-watering of them all.
 
On Saturday 29th September, on neutral ground at Pride Park in Derby, the home of Derby County Football Club, life-long Everton fan Paul Peers will step into the ring against fellow Merseysider and staunch Reds fan Craig Kennerdale.
 
Adding extra spice to the contest, if being a Merseyside Derby wasn’t enough; there will be a Title Belt at stake, the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight Championship.
 
Speaking from his new home in the Orkneys, Peers made it clear he wasn’t just coming to make up the numbers.
 
“I’m really looking forward to this fight, it’s one that could and should have happened last year.
 
“We’re both from Liverpool, there’s no two ways about it the depth of talent in the city is growing all the time. Liverpool has produced so many Champions over the years, everything from English to World Champions, hopefully after the 29th my name will be added to the long, long list.
 
“I have every intention of boxing at my very best as I try to win this English title, as will Craig.
 
“I’ve seen that Craig is right up for this, he looks even faster now than when I see his training videos. That shows he’s fit and he’s ready, which makes for a good fight, as so am I.
 
“It will be storming fight, expect fireworks on the night, there’s so much a stake, not just bragging rights, I want that belt around my waist.”
 
Craig Kennerdale versus Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title supports co-headliners Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship contest and Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis World Boxing League and European Boxing League European Welterweight Championships bout on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

Please follow and like us:

Decastro Fires Warning Shot Across Ashong’s Bow Ahead of Commonwealth Title Clash on 29th September.


 
Unbeaten Super Middleweight prospect Nathan Decastro (13-0-0 (11 by way of KO)) vows “No one can stop me on my journey”
 
Bardley. Lincolnshire’s Decastro is set to face two time African Champion Agoe Ashong (11-1-0 (6 by way of KO)) for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship, on the Dan Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on the 29th September 2018.
 
Decastro, who is ranked #9 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Intercontinental ratings, was originally due to go toe to toe with Ashong back in July on the undercard of the McAllister versus Williams WBU Heavyweight World Title clash headed event in Aberdeen, however due to delays in the African Champion receiving his visa in time, Decastro instead had to settle for a non-championship eight rounder against David Okai.
 
Decastro came through the test against Okai with flying colours with a first round stoppage victory, his eleventh TKO victory in thirteen outings.
 
Late in August Ashong’s visa situation was finally sorted thanks to the intervention of the Secretary of State for Immigration, Caroline Nokes MP and James Snowdon and his team at the Home Office, making it possible for this mouth-watering 50/50 title clash to finally take place.
 
Earlier today Decastro spoke briefly about the upcoming fight Ashong.
 
“I am so pleased to get the opportunity to fight for the PBC Commonwealth title and really excited for this fight, especially after the disappointment of his visa issues last time, therefore not making the scheduled fight!
 
“That’s behind me now and it’s all sorted, I’m going to make a big statement next week and show I really mean business and deserve my IBF ranking and a shot against any of those ranked above me for the vacant IBF Intercontinental title.
 
“Agoe Ashong is a quality fighter and that’s proven with his record 11-1 and the two African titles he’s won, but for me to progress towards world titles and improve my ranking with IBF I need to be winning in great style.
 
“I’ve been promised a huge fight in December, by my manager Lee McAllister as long as I win on the 29th, which I fully intend to do.
 
“I would just like to thank my traveling supporters and also my team and Sponsors: Bracebridge Boxing Club, Tudor Building and Roofing, Flawless Landscaping and construction, Aesthetics by Megan, GA Luxury Breaks, Get The Edge UK, SMT2U, Sam Vickers my S&C coach and Craig Barton my nutritionist!
 
“I’m in a great place right now and feel like no one can stop me on my journey”
 

 
Nathan Decastro versus Agoe Ashong, for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Commonwealth Super Middleweight Championship, co-headlines with the Ross Doherty versus Gvido Seilis World Boxing League and European Boxing League European Welterweight Championships contest on the Daniel Gray promoted event at Pride Park in Derby on Saturday 29th September 2018.
 
Also featured on the event is another mouth-watering all Merseyside title clash, between Craig Kennerdale and Paul Peers for the Professional Boxing Council (PBC) Silver English Welterweight title.
 
There are also two non-championship contests featured on the event, exciting Super Bantamweight Emily Pugh makes her second pro outing against Latvia’s Veronika Sirajeva and Leed’s Super lightweight Jack Jones makes his professional debut against Dundalk, Ireland’s Michael Kelly.
 
The event is virtually sold out but there are a few tickets still available, for details please call Dan Gray on 07522 401454.

Please follow and like us:

Freeman Battles Through Injury To Secure Victory In Liverpool


 
Report: Gianluca Di Caro
Photographs Courtesy of Chris Kearns
 
On Saturday night, whilst most British boxing fans were either at the Manchester Arena or watching BT Sport as Tyson Fury made his long awaited return to the ring, a large number of local boxing fans still made the pilgrimage to the Jubilee Sports Bank in Liverpool for local promoter Kyle Gallagher’s latest offering.
 
Over the past few years Gallagher has built himself a very good reputation for putting on quality shows, one where the local fans know they are in for a great night out and watching well matched all action fights featuring local prospects and on Saturday normal service resumed.
 
Headlining the show was local unbeaten prospect Martin Freeman, against seriously tough opposition in Latvia’s Dmitrijs Ovsjannikovs.
 
On his last appearance, on a Gallagher promoted show back in March, Ovsjannikovs secured victory over Freeman’s gym mate Mitchell Walsh, via a second round TKO, which added an extra bit of spice to this particular bout.
 
The opening round see Freeman on the front foot, Ovsjannikovs seemingly content to counter for the majority of the round, with the occasional attacking foray whenever the opportunity arose.
 
Initially it was more of the same in round two, however as the round progressed Ovsjannikovs began to get a bit busier, actively taking the fight to the Liverpudlian, but all said and done it was still Freeman’s round.
 
Freeman’s movement in the third was poor, he was limping at times, and Ovsjannikovs clearly noticed this and started to be more assertive in his approach, so much so that often he would corral Freeman in a corner before letting rip with a flurry of shots.
 
Freeman’s corner were screaming at their charge to get out of the corner, can’t blame them as it was this tactic by Ovsjannikovs that led to their man Walsh being stopped by the Latvian back in March.
 
Freeman made it through the round, but now was just the one round up as the third was clearly Ovsjannikovs’.
 
Freeman’s corner worked frantically on his leg during the break, but when the opening bell for the round rang it was clear to all that the injury was really troubling the Liverpudlian.
 
The fourth mirrored the third, Ovsjannikovs controlling the proceedings, but Freeman dug in deep and survived the round. Again in the break Freeman’s team worked hard on their charge.
 
With the scores equal going into the fifth Ovsjannikovs went on the offensive once more, however Freeman, whilst still limping, didn’t just settle for countering, oh no, he decided if it was do or die and started to plant his feet once more and let rip with big shots, so much so that Ovsjannikovs reverted to a defensive approach and countering at times, much to the relief of Freeman’s corner I would think.
 
The sixth and final round was a stormer, again Ovsjannikovs went hard on the attack in an attempt to back Freeman into a corner, however the Liverpudlian wasn’t having any of it and some excellent toe to toe slugging ensued, it was a thrilling final round, control switching back and forth throughout until the final bell.
 
After six hard fought rounds Referee Chris Kelly’s scorecard read 58-56 in favour of Martin Freeman.
 

 
The penultimate bout of the night sees Widnes, Cheshire’s Jamie Oldfield, in action against Belfast’s Marty Kayes, in a four round Welterweight contest.
 
Oldfield came into the fight off a first round stoppage win over Edgars Sazanovics on his pro debut back in March, whilst Kayes, a well known and always busy opponent, came into the fight off the back of two excellent points victories in April, his first wins since July 2016, some sixteen fights previously.
 
Right from the off it was Oldfield that took the fight to Kayes, the Irishman though stood his ground and countered effectively and so began a fantastic all action round.
 
It was a great round, you just couldn’t take your eyes off the fight for a second as these two warriors went to war, both digging deep into their arsenals of shots, each time one of them seemed to be taking control, the other would counter with equal force to wrestle control.
 
Great round just couldn’t split them, definitely a drawn round in my eyes.
 
More of the same in the second and third, although in both Oldfield seemed to just about secure the rounds due to more effective attacks. I must just mention a couple of exchanges, where Oldfield and Kayes went toe to toe exchanging double handed combinations, both guys letting rip with 10-12 punch combinations at the same time, wow, really enjoyed those.
 
The fourth and Final round was more or less a mirror image of the first, again I couldn’t split them, score-wise, and was mightily chuffed that I had scored it the same as the Referee Chris Kelly – 40-38 in favour of Jamie Oldfield
 

 
Another local debuting fighter, David Tayor, was next up, against Latvia’s Vladimirs Slikovs in a four round Super Middleweight contest.
 
Both protagonists came out hard and fast, both battling hard for centre ground, what’s more it was clear that neither had any intention of backing down for a second.
 
Throughout the first round it was hard to split the two, each time either let rip with a shot the other countered in similar fashion, no surprise that even Referee Chris Kelly couldn’t split them on his scorecard.
 
Round two was once again an all action round, Slikovs maybe being more on the front foot, however even though Taylor was having to defend more often, it was he that landed the most shots, more importantly the most telling shots.
 
More of the same in the third, with Taylor clearly winning the round, however the fourth, whilst similar to the previous rounds, except now Slikovs was able to get his range right and land some big shots.
 
After four all action rounds Referee Chris Kelly’s scorecards showed just how close this bout was, as they read 39-38 to David Taylor.
 

 
Following the interval local debuting lad Steven Sunners faced Latvian Eduard Belas in a four round Middleweight contest.
 
Right from the off Sunners went on the attack, however Belas is as savvy as they come and used his experience to keep Sunners from landing a serious shot initially.
 
However Sunners kept calm and used his jab to great effect to fashion a good opening early in the round and landing a cracking body-shot.
 
Belas changed tactics and went on the offensive, Sunners didn’t seem that concerned and just kept jabbing to the head, forcing Belas to keep his guard high.
 
After a few more exchanges, Sunners threw a neat combination, creating just enough of an opening to slip in another good solid shot, this time with the required effect of sending the Latvian to the canvas.
 
Belas made the count, immediately after the restart Sunners was all over the Latvian like a rash, letting shots off whenever an opening presented itself.
 
It wasn’t that long until another chink in the Latvian’s armour appeared, Sunners reacted immediately and again sent Belas to the canvas.
 
Belas again made the count and defended well until the end of the round.
 
Round two started in much the same way as the previous round ended, with Sunners in full flow and Belas covering up and defending with an occasional shot of his own.
 
However, after about fifteen seconds or so Sunners landed a big right hand that sent the Latvian heavily to the canvas, Referee Chris Kelly immediately waved the fight off, he didn’t even start the count, instead summoned the medical team to enter the ring and attend to the stricken Belas.
 
I’m pleased to say Belas was OK and when he eventually rose to his feet, received a warm round of applause from all in attendance.
 
Official time of the stoppage was just 22 seconds of the second round.
 

 
Just prior to the interval the fifth fight of the night pitted local lad Craig Kennerdale against Prestwick, Scotland’s Leon Roberts in a four round Welterweight contest.
 
This much anticipated contest between two highly rated young fighters was expected to be a cracker, but it turned out to be much more than that it was a sensational fight between two equally matched warriors.
 
It reminded me very much of the classic Battle Royale between Carl Frampton and Ian Bailey in Belfast a few years back, after that one the entire crowd at the King’s Hall were on their feet applauding both warriors, and it comes as no surprise that after their fight on Saturday night that Kennerdale and Roberts also received a standing ovation from the crowd in Liverpool, boy oh boy they deserved it one hundred percent.
 
As with Frampton-Bailey, it was non-stop action throughout, Kennerdale and Roberts fought magnificently for every second of each round.
 
These two serious talents really went for it throughout the contest, control switching between them with such regularity you just couldn’t take your eyes of the fight for a second.
 
On many occasions this battle had the highly vocal fans standing and applauding the action, especially a couple of double handed exchanges, where both protagonists not only matched each other punch for punch but also flowing combination for combination.
 
Referee Chris Kelly scored the contest 40-37 in favour of Kennerdale, which to be honest whilst the correct result just doesn’t reflect just how close every single round was.
 
Loved every second of this fight, it really was something special, so if you get the chance try and watch the video, which I have been told will be on YouTube later this week, definitely well worth watching.
 
Have to say this was my first choice of Fight of the Night, just as you would have already read above there was definitely more than one contender for that accolade.
 

 
The fourth bout of the night pitted Bradley Muldoon against debuting David Calveley in a four rounder.
 
Prior to the fight there was quite a bit of talk about this match-up on social media, apparently they had fought twice previously, word was that it was the debuting Calveley that had won both.
 
Right from the opening bell it was Calveley that went straight on the attack, Muldoon initially covered up but soon began to utilise his jab effectively to prevent the hard charging Calveley to corral him against the ropes.
 
Throughout the round it was Calveley virtually bossed the round from start to finish, effectively keeping Muldoon on the back foot.
 
More of the same in the second and third, but the fourth was a much more closely fought round, one in which Muldoon held his own.
 
After four rounds of action Referee scored the contest 40-37 in favour of Calveley, however that wasn’t the end of the matter, as Muldoon protested that it was supposed to be a six rounder and called for the fight to be declared a no-contest. Apparently the promoters running sheet in the changing room showed it as a six rounder not the four as announced at the beginning of the fight and listed by the commission on the schedule.
 

 
Liverpool’s Dean Ferreira versus Latvia’s Andrejs Konovalovs in a four round Super Featherweight contest was the third fight on the card.
 
Ferreira seemed determined to make a big statement in this fight, coming out hard and fast right from the opening bell and letting rip with big shots, Konovalovs initially covered up, but soon realised he’d have to fight his way out of danger and proceeded to do just that.
 
Ferreira though is as tough as they come and he soon wrestled back control and backed his Latvian foe back onto the ropes before letting rip with fast double handed shots to send Konovalovs down within the first thirty seconds or so.
 
Konovalovs made it to his feet almost immediately, on the restart Ferreira went straight back on the attack.
 
Konovalovs got behind his jab in an effort to keep the hard charging Liverpudlian at bay, but that didn’t last for long once Ferreira started targeting the Latvian’s body and on around the one minute mark Ferreira let rip with a big shot to the Latvian’s lower rib, which sent Konovalovs down like a sack of potatoes.
 
Konovalovs was clearly in distress so referee Chris Kelly stopped the count on three and waved the contest off so the medical team could attend to the Latvian.
 
Official time of the stoppage was 1 Minute and 3 seconds.
 

 
The second fight of the night pitted debuting Lee Cooper against one fight veteran Kyle McNicholas in an all Merseyside four round Super Middleweight contest.
 
Cooper approached the opening round in determined fashion, taking the fight to McNicholas right from the off.
 
Throughout the fight Cooper was well and truly on the front foot and very, very focused, Cooper controlled the proceedings more like an established prospect than a debuting fighter.
 
Don’t get me wrong this wasn’t a one sided contest, far from it, McNicholas fought hard for every second of every round, just Cooper’s performance was exceptional.
 
After four excellent action filled rounds referee Chris Kelly rightly scored the bout 40-36 in favour of the debuting Lee Cooper.
 
The opening fight of the night featured Warrington’s Ben Hough in action, against Blackpool’s Malcolm Richardson, in a four round Cruiserweight contest.
 
Right from the off Hough got behind his jab, Richardson responded in kind, however Hough just doubled up his jab and began to back Richardson up towards the ropes.
 
What followed next was about a minute or so of engaging action, which see Hough on the front foot with Richardson defending his position, then just as Richardson went to let rip with a shot Hough got through the Blackpool man’s excellent defence with a big right, that sent Richardson down heavily to the canvas.
 
Immediately referee Chris Kelly waved off the fight and the medical team entered the ring.
 
I’m pleased to say Richardson was perfectly OK, but must praise both the referee and medical team for the prompt actions, as the way Richardson went down it did look like a full on knockout.
 
Official time of the stoppage was 1 minute and 16 seconds of the first round.
 
Once again a great event from Kyle Gallagher and his team, word is his next event will be in September and from what I’ve heard on the grapevine this will be a ‘don’t miss’ event as not only will top prospects from his stable be in action, but also featured on this event will be a number of unbeaten prospects from abroad.

Please follow and like us: